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To think I am capable of decent photography!

(18 Posts)
EmeraldGreenSea Fri 17-Jun-16 19:50:16

I want to invest in 'decent' camera. I haven't had anything more than a £100-odd camera before so obviously the overall quality isn't great when they're printed. I'm actually not bad at taking pics and have a reasonable eye when using my iPhone but I'd love a decent camera. But are they difficult to use if you're not a pro? Can anyone recommend a decent one? No idea where to look but I'd be willing to pay about £500. AIBU to think that decent photography is something you need to learn and a fancy camera is a waste of time?

Okay377 Fri 17-Jun-16 19:55:58

YANBU to think that and definitely get a camera. But you should also find a short photography course to do. Having an eye for a picture is a good talent but you should develop your skills to really enjoy photography and get the most out of your pictures. I like the Canon 5D which you could get on eBay for your price range but would also need lenses - even better pictures! YANBU so now look for a good photography forum to post on - they'll have tons of advice.

EmeraldGreenSea Fri 17-Jun-16 19:56:59

Thanks so much! I'll look into that model!

Mishaps Fri 17-Jun-16 20:11:50

I used to work as a photographer before I retired.

It very much depends what you want to photograph. There is no need to spend as much as £500 unless you wish to sell your photos. Digital technology has made the actual taking of the photos easier.

You can go for a compact: try the Canon Powershot SX series for instance - you can get these for under £300. They have a lot of user-defined features (i.e. you can decide such things as the aperture or shutter speed), but they also have very efficient auto functions too. Most well-known camera makes produce something similar for around the same price.

Next up is a "bridge" camera. These are bigger to hold and have a better lens so purists can see that the pic is better. Here are some reviews: www.which.co.uk/reviews/bridge-cameras?source_code=911CQJ&gclid=CImsocPfr80CFQhuGwod6nwHcw&dclid=CJm8wcPfr80CFSGF2wodbBECFQ
You would be talking about up to £500 for one of these.

Then there are digital SLR cameras, where you do not have a zoom facility, but have to change lenses to do close up or wide angle. They are expensive and you have to buy the lenses as well of course. Thye have good lenses; but they are pricey.

The key to good photographs is not so much about the camera these days (they are mostly excellent once you get over about £250) as about your "eye" for a good picture: spotting a good composition, looking for the angle of the light, interesting textures etc. Some people just have this skill; but there are evening courses available in local tech colleges or online which can help you to develop those skills.

Lots of good luck with this. When I trained as a photographer it made me look at the world differently and I value that still.

mirime Fri 17-Jun-16 20:17:48

I'm a Nikon girl myself, but Canon or Nikon will be fine.

Not too difficult. Mine has an auto setting and scene settings like a compact. I usually use aperture priority rather than full manual as I'm interested in getting the depth of field right more than anything else. You learn and as you learn you want to take control of more aspects to get the results you want.

You have two options really if you're looking at dSLR's - get an entry level body and look at buying a lens ('kit lenses' - lenses that come with the camera aren't always great) or buy a more expensive body and use the kit lenses for a bit.

I got a bargain on a second hand barely used entry level dSLR and it's been brilliant.

Think about what you like to photograph, I like macro photography so spent ages researching macro lenses. Whether you go for Canon or Nikon it's always worth checking out the Sigma and Tamron lenses as they have some great lenses at good prices.

And read reviews. Lots and lots of reviews!

Word of warning though - it can become an expensive hobby!

mirime Fri 17-Jun-16 20:20:25

Mishaps - you can get zoom lenses for SLRs. Not as good as primes, but fine for us non-pros smile

ichoosesleep Fri 17-Jun-16 20:38:20

Wow emerald green sea I was going to ask this too! DH has told me he's getting me a camera for my birthday and I don't know where to start to pick one! I've had my eye on a canon eos 1200 from currys but actually don't know why confused I've just been trying to look at reviews and things and it kept popping up. It is very daunting though as I'm worried il get really into photography after getting my camera and then realising I've bought the wrong one for my needs!

EmeraldGreenSea Fri 17-Jun-16 20:55:48

Wow thanks so much for taking the time to offer such detailed advice. I'll def be doing some more research but it's great to know roughly how much to spend.

Ichoose, I hope you find something perfect!

mirime Fri 17-Jun-16 21:36:38

Ichoosesleep, I'm not sure you can choose a wrong one really if you're looking at dSLR's, even an entry level one like mine let's you do most of what you're ever likely to want to do and if you want to go further you're likely to want another body at that point anyway grin

I'd have another one by now except I had DS and bought a new compact camera as I couldn't manage camera + equipment and toddler + equipment and didn't want to give up on photography completely. The compact is fine but still can't beat the picture quality of a 10 year old dSLR.

Excited101 Fri 17-Jun-16 21:43:58

I'm a Nikon fan too but yes, canon are also good.

Don't be afraid of second hand, I, not sure what the d300 is like price wise second hand but it's a brilliant camera.

I personally wouldn't spend out on a photography course at this stage, have a play and have a read online while you go and see how you get on.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Fri 17-Jun-16 21:45:38

go somewhere like currys and see what they have on display...get your hands on them and see how they feel, where the buttons are, can you reach them, how does fit in your hand

have a scroll through the menus and see which one makes sense to you, I find with phones (for example) some are very easy to navigate, and some send you off into fury because for some idiotic reason they think the clock belongs in some random folder where no one would ever look

There's plenty about second hand too....dh got a NikonD3000 for pennies on ebay recently....we really checked it out when it arrived and it's immaculate. I already have a nikon and lenses so it didn't make sense to go for anything else.

Scholes34 Fri 17-Jun-16 22:02:53

I waited for years for the price of a digital SLR to come down in price, and I love my Nikon D3200 which I've had just over two years now, and which came with two lenses. I especially like the quality of the photos taken in low light with no flash and also playing with depth of field. The beauty of digital photography is you can delete the rubbish pictures.

Haven't needed to do a photography course - I just got DS to do a digital photography course as part of his enrichment at sixth form - and he's taught me about lots of the additional features on my camera so I haven't needed to read the user manual!

fuckincuntbuggerinarse Fri 17-Jun-16 22:05:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fuckincuntbuggerinarse Fri 17-Jun-16 22:06:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Boleh Fri 17-Jun-16 22:08:56

I can highly recommend the talk photography forum for research if you are keen on photography and also for critique of photos.
I had to step away before I started spending silly money on lenses, which weren't really going to improve my photographs nearly as much as learning to be a better photographer smile

JuliannalovesCliveBixby Fri 17-Jun-16 22:13:42

I was literally going to post the same thing when I saw this thread. I think I have a pretty good eye for taking photos and want to develop into a hobby, but I have no clue where to start. This thread has been quite helpful.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Fri 17-Jun-16 22:44:33

there's plenty of online groups for photography,

blipfoto is great for the discipline of taking a photo a day, but it's become huge over the last couple of years.
Most areas have photo clubs as well...have a facebook search for your area
There's also a group on fb called A Year with My Camera run by Emma Davies, I joined up but have fallen by the wayside --shame on me-She does tutorials, sends out emails on all sort of helpful things, little projects and although I've only skimmed through there's loads of info and knowledge to be had from them.

MillionToOneChances Sat 18-Jun-16 09:22:54

I wouldn't bother buying anything less than a bridge camera if you have a decent phone, as the quality improvement won't be enough to make you carry it. I get some lovely photos with my old Canon 450D SLR. It came with two kit lenses which are ok, but mostly I use a cheap Canon 50mm prime lens and zoom with my feet. I agree with a previous poster that aperture priority nose is a great place to start - I don't think there's much point getting an SLR and keeping it on full auto. One of the nicest things for pics of the kids or photos of flowers and plants is the ability to use a wide aperture (low f number) to get a really shallow depth of field and blur out the background.

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